October 1, 2011

A few words about the play I wrote...which Ill post tomorrow night

[...Posted by Ted H]

The play will be called "Our Town of the Dead" and it was inspired directly by Thornton Wilders play "Our Town"

So…Interesting conversation I had with my retail manager the other day. I told him about my plans for this weeks update, and how it was going to be a sequel to a play (Ill get into that more later). Basically the whole idea of parody and satire of other works, and a little bit of the concept of “fair use” and to what extent any of those concepts should be taken. It was mostly a one sided conversation on my part, but it allowed me to bring up points on the matter to myself at least.

I don’t normally encourage what I’m doing today-using characters, setting and such all done by someone else as a jumping off point for my own piece of writing, but its justified in my own eyes for the following reasons:

1-This stuff was written all back when I was in high school. I had some forced reading to endure and they were all boring. Very boring. “Our Town” was the first one and I decided to write a sequel play to is where something interesting happens. Two others followed and I kept the same play structure even though they were novels. This was all done before I was doing any serious writing and long before I formed my dark opinions on fan fiction and the like.

2-I have no intent to market this particular (or the other 2 “sequel plays” I have stashed) play for any financial gain should lightning strike and I actually become even the littlest bit famous. Seriously, I will never let myself make money off this...for a more thorough idea into my opinion of "making money only off stuff that is 100% your own intillectual property" check this out-> http://comicsovereasy.net/018/

3-The play as you will see it is hardly anything like it was when I originally wrote it, and the whole purpose to polishing it up and in some cases, rebuilding certain areas is more than just me wanting to put it out there. This play was a wreck when I wrote it, and reading it now makes me wonder why nobody slapped me when they read it. That however could be in the eye of the beholder. I redo it now, keep the originals and use them both as a timeline of sorts to gauge myself as a writer over the years. My writing skill in 2004 vs. today isn’t even close. So if anything, redoing it now and looking back on the whole thing in a few years can give me something to track my progress with. Everything I write is perfect looking when I write it, and if I can go back to it and marvel at how much better I am now, then at least I’m constantly improving. No one is ever done growing as a writer, and if you think you’re done growing, then that means you’ve capped and you should quit now cuz its all downhill from here.

Anyway, this play is meant to be a sequel play to a more well received play: “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. I suggest you read the play yourself or at least look up the spark notes on it because I doubt you could follow along with my play as well if you don’t have the background info. I wrote this right after my English class had gone through it. I didn’t really let any of the info on the play sink in fully and wrote something ill conceived. I actually read the play a second time and while I’m sure I missed at least half the details, here are the things I missed while writing this thing in 2004: I had Constable Warren alive in the sequel when he was mentioned as already dead in Act III of the original (Sucked cuz I had him as the main character of the B plot in the sequel)…Joe Crowell could not conceivably be a paper boy still since he grew out of that role during the original play (at least I didn’t kill him off)…The dead in the original had a perfect frame of mind that I could use to explain their indifference to humanity in the sequel (instead I went with “Grahaha we’re zombies!”)
One thing I did get right, was I assumed the price of beans in the time period was 10 cents as part of a joke…turns out I knocked that one out of the park…sadly the joke did not survive the trip to the remake…

Best things I like about the remake: Its less slap-stick humor. It’s cleaner and more organized and kinda decent
Worst things: I sacrificed a ton of the humor for a better overall product. I still attempted to keep the humor high and the seriousness down as much as possible, so the tone tends to be schizophrenic between serious and idiotic, especially the mastermind-to-crazy bitch shift Mrs Gibbs takes.

Ultimaly, Im posting this because I like how the rewrite turned out. Hell, replace the character names and setting and it could be something totally original, but I kept things the same because it's more awesome this way, and it wouldnt exist if not for that original play by Mr Wilder...though I retain the right to use the "conscious detatchment to humanity by the undead" for future works...

Act I will be posted tomorrow night. Try to be cultured and read the original beforehand…it won a Pulitzer so how bad could it be?

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